We’re finally getting some rain. Here is an updated chart of rainfall totals for Highlands Peak weather station at 2,400′ elevation.
Here are the totals for our big storm February 26 – March 2. The elevation gradient is always so interesting.
Rain Totals and Maximum Wind Gust :
Gatehouse 3.75″ , 45 mph
Whale Point 4″ , 51 mph
Highlands Peak 6.6″ , 70 mph
Mining Ridge 15.2″ , no wind data
You can explore the data at: http://bigcreek.ucnrs.org/weather/
It’s January but it looks like September. Most plants are dry, crispy, and hanging on through drought-induced senescence. Only in some areas are there some green grass shoots emerging. The creek is extremely low and our springs are starting to show a slight decline in output. This chart shows how severely low the rainfall totals were in 2013. The data are from Highlands Peak weather station, located at 2,500 feet elevation.
We now have another weather station in our network. Near the Gatehouse and close sea level, this station adds one more measurement to the 4670′ elevation range of monitoring stations in the Big Creek watershed. Go to the Big Creek Weather Page on our website to look at real time weather conditions.
Three of these stations are managed by the Desert Research Institute and are part of a network of weather stations across the UC Natural Reserve System. To see weather data across the system, and across California, go to the UCNRS Climate Monitoring Network page.
We received an unusually wet storm for this late in the Spring. The satellite image shows a system resembling a strong winter storm. For about 24 hours we had steady and heavy rain, especially in the Santa Lucia Mountains. Big Creek watershed was at the top of the list for precipitation counts for the entire central coast with Mining Ridge at 4,760′ elevation reaching 8.82 inches between Friday and Sunday, June 3-5. Highlands Peak (2,500′) got 3.59 inches and Whale Point (600′) received 1.82 inches. Feynner had to tie the foot bridge log at the beach again to keep it from going out to sea as the creek rose quickly. Not something we expected in June!